Infected water supplies and chipped paint in old houses are causing more children to become poisoned with lead.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – After the incidents in Flint, it seems that more and more children are suffering from lead poisoning and the culprit lies either in the water supply or in the chipped paint in old houses. Lead poisoning can be very dangerous to humans, especially in children because it could cause permanent brain damage or loss of certain cognitive functions.
The recent led poisoning incident in Flint have brought back the attention on a problem that has been persisting in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for quite a while now. According to the data, New Jersey children are more prone to lead poisoning than those in Flint because New Jersey’s population is higher and lead sources are more easily reachable.
The main concern of lead poisoning in Flint remains the local water supply. The entire problem started when the Flint city officials decided that they will use a water supply that is cheaper. When a sample of 3,340 children was tested for lead poisoning in 2015, 112 were found positive. The numbers are even higher in Philadelphia were 3,655 had dangerous amount in their system out of the 35,863 total number of tested children.
The initial symptoms of lead poisoning include lack of motivation, fatigue, language and speech problems and poor coordination. The higher the amount of lead in the child’s organism, the bigger chances of him developing long-term problems like an intellectual limitation or other more serious neurological damage. A recent study even pointed out the fact that a long-term lead poisoning can lead to DNA alteration.
Even the ancient Romans were aware of the fact that lead, the main ingredient in cooking pots, jewelry, wine, utensils, water pipes and cosmetics at that time, was responsible for delirium, paralysis, palsy and even sterility.
Benjamin Franklin noticed that people who worked in the print shops of his time, that used ink with a high concentration of lead, would suffer from the dangles, a sort of foot and wrist drop.
More and more children are suffering from lead poisoning and this could be catastrophic for them seeing as they are most vulnerable. Because of the fact that children are still in a developmental stage, severe lead poisoning can lead to mental retardation, hearing loss, speech impairment, kidney damage, reproductive problems and even stunted growth.
Parents are advised to give only bottled water to their children and make sure to apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls if the old layer starts getting chipped.
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